When learning Vedic astrology, as with any discipline, it's important to apply the principles you learn with many practical examples. This article presents a very useful and reliable chart interpretation method, involving the transits of Jupiter and Saturn, which you can immediately apply to any chart you're studying. By so doing, you will see its efficacy first hand.
Following the Transits of Jupiter and Saturn
Since Jupiter and Saturn are the slowest moving planets in Vedic astrology, their transits will tend to have the most significance for predictive purposes. Jupiter transits through a sign approximately once per year, while Saturn takes approximately 2 ½ years.
We generally think of Jupiter’s transits as positive and beneficial, causing expansion, growth, new opportunities and increasing the significations of any house that it transits or aspects. Likewise, we generally think of Saturn’s transits as negative and detrimental, causing limitation, obstacles, challenges and the denial of the significations of any house that it transits or aspects. However, while Saturn’s transit can give negative outcomes under certain circumstances, this is certainly not always the case.
My jyotish guru, K.N. Rao, says in his book, Ups and Downs in Career, “When anything significant is happening to any man, Jupiter and Saturn in transit play a pivotal role.” How can this be true, if Saturn’s transits are not also, somehow, beneficial?
Jupiter can be said to give the inspiration behind an endeavor, while Saturn gives it its structure and form. Without Saturn’s influence nothing of lasting value could ever be actualized. Jupiter gives new, expansive ideas but not necessarily the ability to manifest them. Therefore, we need both for an idea to come into full manifestation.
The best way that I've found to illustrate this principle is to think of a tree. Saturn is the roots and trunk of the tree, while Jupiter is it's leaves and branches. Jupiter aspires to the heavens with new growth while Saturn establishes a firm foundation. Both are obviously dependent on one another for any significant and sustained growth to happen.
The Double Transit Phenomenon
With this understanding, it becomes possible to see that when Jupiter and Saturn both aspect a sign by transit it becomes a significant event. That sign becomes strongly activated by both the expansive influence of Jupiter and the actualizing influence of Saturn. The otherwise potentially limiting and challenging qualities of Saturn’s transit become wise and more beneficial under Jupiter’s influence. While the potentially unrealistic and ungrounded qualities of Jupiter’s transit become more practical and focused under Saturn’s influence. Together they can indicate achievement, breakthroughs, and progress regarding the areas of life that are signified by the house(s) that they’re both aspecting by transit.
It’s very helpful to get into the habit of looking for which house(s) Saturn and Jupiter are both aspecting by transits at any given time. Oddly, many astrologers overlook this simple method and can miss valuable insights into where the individual needs to focus his or her energy during that time period.
It must be noted that while this can sound reliable and promising, in Vedic astrology the yogas (combinations of planets) and dashas (predictive systems) need to be considered. If we rely only on transits to produce results, even the double transit, we may be disappointed. If the progress and achievements that the double transit indicates don't have the support of the yogas and dashas they will not come to full fruition. It may, however, indicate an area of focus in a person's life. For this reason, it's helpful to follow the double transits even without knowledge of the yogas and dashas.
The Special Aspects of Jupiter and Saturn
How do we know where Jupiter and Saturn are aspecting by their transits? The aspects are very different in Vedic astrology than Western astrology. Every planet aspects both the house it’s located in and the 7th house from itself – 1st and 7th aspects. In addition, there are special aspects for Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Jupiter also aspects the 5th and 9th; Saturn also aspects the 3rd and 10th; and Mars also aspects the 4th and the 8th houses. So both Jupiter and Saturn will aspect a total of 4 houses including the one they’re placed in. The overlapping house(s) represents the double transit.
Examples of the Double Transit
In the following example we see the double transit in the sign of Pisces, which occurred between July 24th, 2002 and July 30th, 2003. Saturn was transiting Gemini and aspecting Leo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. Jupiter was transiting Cancer and aspecting Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces. Therefore, the only sign that received the aspect of both planets was Pisces. (However, between January 9th and April 8th, 2003 Saturn went retrograde back into Taurus, thereby shifting the double transit to the signs of Cancer and Scorpio.)
Whatever house Pisces represents for each rising sign will determine how the double transit will affect the chart. For instance, for Gemini Ascendant Pisces is the 10th house. The double transit will, therefore, indicate potential expansion and actualization of career achievements.
The double transit in Pisces
What you’ll see in the following illustrations is how the sign(s) that gets the double transit will shift, generally from year to year. In fact, there are only two positions of Jupiter and Saturn that will not have the double transit phenomenon – when Jupiter is in the 8th or 12th house from Saturn. This means that 10 out of the 12 possible positions, or more than 80% of the time, there will be the double transit phenomenon happening in at least one sign, possibly two.
In the next example the double transit shifts from Pisces into Leo and Sagittarius, which occurred between July 30th 2003 and August 28th 2004. I saw a client with Gemini rising on July 17th, 2003 and he was talking about how his focus was beginning to shift away from his career and into his 5-year relationship that had serious issues that needed to be resolved. He also expressed an interest in learning web design, which relates to the 3rd house of communication and the media. With Gemini rising, the double transit was shifting out of his 10th house of career (Pisces), and into his 7th house of relationship (Sagittarius) and 3rd house of communications (Leo).
The dashas also indicated this shift for him as he was moving into a Ketu period and Ketu was placed in his 7th house of relationship. Ketu as a natural malefic represents possible separation during its dasha especially if it has an influence on the 7th house, 7th lord or Venus. Ketu also represents introversion, detachment and is less career focused by nature.
I had another client on August 12, 2003 with Cancer rising who had traveled to Thailand while the double transit was in his 9th house of long distance travel in Pisces. He was talking about his financial and health concerns since returning from the trip. The double transit had just shifted from his 9th house to his 6th house of health and disease as well as the 2nd house of money. He also was in the process of changing employment (6th house), and finding new ways to earn money (2nd house).
The double transit in Leo and Sagittarius
In the last example the double transit shifts into Virgo and Capricorn with the transits of Jupiter into Virgo and Saturn into Cancer. This occurs between September 6th, 2004 and September 27th, 2005. (However, on January 14th, 2005 Saturn retrogrades back into Gemini for 4 ½ months until May 27th during which time the double transit will be in Pisces.)
The double transit in Virgo and Capricorn
Applying the Double Transit
Besides considering the dashas and yogas as previously mentioned, it's also important to see the relative strengths of Jupiter and Saturn in your natal chart. This can be done by seeing their sign and house placement, their house rulership, as well as the planets that aspect them. This will modify the relative strength of their transits.
Also, look to see which house(s), if any, are also doubly aspected by Jupiter and Saturn in the natal chart. This house will gain prominence throughout their life. Also, when the double transit aspects to this house expect intensified results. Lastly, if you know the ashtakavarga point system examine how many points Jupiter and Saturn’s points are both in the natal chart and in their transiting sign. If they are higher than 5 points then their results will be more beneficial. If they are less than 2 points then their results will be less beneficial. All these factors will modify the relative strength of the double transit.
The following is a brief list of house indications so that you can begin to examine the double transit shifts in the charts you examine. You will find that major events often occur at the time of the double transit. For instance, childbirth, marriage, inheritance, career expansion, will occur when the double transit is in the 5th, 7th, 8th, 10th house etc. If this is not the case then it can often be traced to the fact that the yogas and dashas do not support the event.
1st house – Body, one’s identity, self-confidence, overall success.
2nd house – Earned income, acquisitions, food/diet, speech.
3rd house – Communication, advertising, hobbies, writing, siblings, short journeys, short-term goals.
4th house – Home/residence, real estate, mother, vehicles, general happiness.
5th house – Creativity, children, romance/dating, investments, education.
6th house – Health, disease, acute illness, daily work, litigation, debts.
7th house – Relationship, marriage, partnerships – business or romantic, foreign places.
8th house – Other’s money – loans, inheritance; litigation, chronic illness, sexuality, transformation, occult knowledge.
9th house – Long distance travel, spiritual teaching and teachers, good fortune, father.
10th house – Career, employer, work/action, outer achievements.
11th house – Monetary gains, side incomes, major long-term goals, groups, friends.
12th house – Distant places, introspection, debts and expenditures, isolation.